Technology is increasingly present in the healthcare field. A study by the Pfizer Foundation and the Fad Juventud Foundation has shown that young people consider it a reliable source and have high expectations of it.
According to the results of the study “Technological innovation applied to health care. The view of adolescents and young people”, prepared by the Pfizer Foundation and the Fad Juventud Foundation, young people consider it beneficial to rely on technology to take care of their health.
The objective of the study was to determine to what extent young people use technologies for health issues and how much they trust them. Likewise, long-term expectations have been realized.
The conclusions of this study are based on the results obtained from a survey carried out on a sample of 1,504 young people between 15 and 29 years old. Between the months of May and June of this year, interviews and workshops were held with technology and health experts.
“Young people adapt easily to technological progress, quickly using it as part of their lifestyle. For this reason, it seemed interesting to us to know how they use technological innovation in matters related to their health and well-being,” said the president of the Pfizer Foundation, Sergio Rodríguez.
Ignacio Bayon, Anna Sanmartin and Sergio Rodriguez. Image courtesy of the Pfizer Foundation and Fad Youth
The data collected indicates that eight out of ten young people (79.9% of the total number of respondents) claim to be informed about health issues through the use of digital tools, from apps to social networks.
Thus, some of the most frequent uses of technology in health are step counters, menstrual cycle or sleep meters, and diet trackers.
In the case of searches on the Internet and networks, the most widespread use for health is that aimed at “care, prevention and improvement of well-being” (79.3%). This is followed by “searching for symptoms in case you are not feeling well to find out what is happening” (69.9%) and “looking for information about a health problem of someone around you” (67.1%).
Who cares more about health?
The truth is that young people have shown to prioritize health before many other things. Have a
Good health is what they value most at this stage of life (60.2%), above earning money (46.3%) or having good family relationships (35.31%).
Women give it greater importance and, by age group, it is young people between 25 and 29 years old who value it the most.
Reliability of sources
The health topics most searched for by young people on the internet and social networks are those related to “physical activity” (40.3%), “mental health” (35%) and “food and diets” (34.3%). %).
On the other hand, more than 65% of respondents follow accounts related to health and wellness. Around 52% follow accounts or profiles of healthcare professionals or specialists.
Thus, it is estimated that, on an average of 7.08 out of 10, young people place greater trust in health-related information provided by health professionals than in that which is generally offered on the Internet and social networks.
Regarding the choice of installed applications for health care, the general criterion is that of oneself: four out of ten young people access these applications independently. Also through the recommendation of friends (23.6%), family (16.4%), health professionals (15%) or their partner (13.3%).
Infographic provided by the Pfizer Foundation and the Fad Juventud Foundation
Expectations and demands of technology in health
Another question raised in the study was about the technological innovations or improvements proposed in health.
Firstly, young people consider that improving mobile integration in the health system (applications, smartphones, wearables, etc.) would be an important advance, with 39.6% of responses. Along the same lines, 37.7% consider that it would be an important advance to “guarantee quality online and telematic healthcare.”
The activity most carried out electronically is “requesting online appointments”, with 72.5% of
implementation; 57.2% access “personal online health files”; and 48.7% use ”telematic consultations”, either through video calls, chats or telephone consultations.
The results conclude that young people do not seek a replacement of the health system by
digital technologies, but they believe that it is possible to combine them.
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